The Smart Cloud is ready to use

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This whitepaper explains how the cloud enables organisations of all sizes to access the kind of computing power that, in the past, only huge multi-nationals could use. We also show how our Smart Office solution helps you make the most of the opportunity..

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The Smart Cloud is ready to use

  1. 1. White Paper The Smart Cloud is ready to use A white paper from Colt Technology Services November 2010
  2. 2. The Smart Cloud is ready to useIt doesn’t matter how big or small your company is you can make the mostof Cloud Computing right now. It’s not complicated or exclusive – it’s likea public utility that’s waiting for you to plug in.The Cloud makes everyone big electricity socket and then using a disadvantage (you’d have toThe term, Cloud Computing, has that machine (powered by the maintain your generators andbeen around for a while. IT electricity you pay for as and when upgrade them constantly).specialists have banded it about you use it) to create whatever it isas if it’s something that’s terribly you want to create (and sell). It didn’t make business sense.complicated and only suited to But, Edison argued, building huge,huge corporations with limitless IT Computing becomes a utility centralised power plants thatbudgets; but it is, quite simply, the Nicholas Carr, in his book, The Big could distribute electricity as andopposite of both those things. Switch1 made the analogy and very when it was needed would make quickly commentators all over the economic sense for the providerThe ‘Cloud’ is a revolutionary new world jumped on the idea and, of that service, and for those thatapproach to computing that is in an Internet-instant, it’s become consumed it. Capital expenditurebeginning to flatten the world and the accepted way in which Cloud would be turned into an operationalstrip big companies of their size Computing is now described. The expenditure and costs would goadvantage. The Cloud can make British newspaper, The Guardian, down. It was as if Edison hadyou Big. And it can make you grow titled one of its recent articles decided to create, to use a veryvery fast – if that’s what you want. thus: “Cloud Computing: Time to modern concept, ‘Electricity as Stop Sitting on your data – Just a Service’.Take Twitter. It started in the as early industrialists abandonedCloud. When its developers came generators in favour of centrally He was proved right, even thoughup with the idea they didn’t have provided electricity, so businesses his own form of power, Directthe resources to go out and buy will abandon hardware in favour Current, lost the battle forlots of servers and high-end of cloud computing.”2 supremacy with Alternating Current.desktop computers, they simply Industry was able to invest capitalattached a laptop to a good The argument is a compelling in its own specialised operationsinternet connection and used one. As the Industrial Revolution and products rather than spendAmazon’s spare server capacity. gathered pace across Europe in great amounts individuallyThe rest is, as they say, history. the nineteenth century and the generating electricity. factory system took off,And that, in essence, is just what industrialists had to build their own Carr then draws a direct line fromthe Cloud is. It’s a network of generators and power plants right that experience to the age of thecomputers that are all connected next to their factories to make use computer. Up until about a decadeto each other and offer processing of the new and wonderful source ago the computing model waspower and applications as if they of power that was electricity. Then very simple. Large companieswere a utility like electricity. All Thomas Edison, in the 1880s, sought competitive advantage byyou have to do is buy some of it realised that this was a wasteful developing and building their ownwhen and where you need it. You way of working. If each and every processing power and designeddon’t have to fill your basement or place of work had to build its own their own applications too. Theyan expensive piece of commercial power plant then there would be spent capital on PCs, Servers,real-estate with your own servers a tremendous amount of waste, Software, data storage and so on,and technicians, and then develop not just of electricity, but of and then housed it all in speciallyyour own software; you just buy money too. The capital needed cooled and powered real-estatetime and space from big to generate power was enormous. that ate up yet more capital. Theycompanies who have already done This would, eventually turn an employed software people to workall the hard work. It’s just like advantage (having the power that on applications that were tailoredplugging machinery into an your competitors didn’t have) into to their needs, hardly ever looking 1 Nicholas Carr: The Big Switch: Rewiring the World, from Edison to Google 2009 2 The Guardian June 21st 2010.
  3. 3. to see if there was an on-the-shelf From Capital Expenditure to Cloud Computing is growing verysolution that might come at a Operational Expenditure fast across the world, especially infraction of the total cost. That Medium sized enterprises (SMEs the USA. Analysts Gartner estimateseemed the only way to make the to use the annoying acronym) that global sales of Cloud Servicesmost of the power of both the are well placed to make the most will have risen by 17% by the endcomputer itself and the Internet. of cloud computing. It’s their of 2010 to reach $68.3 billion, up opportunity to think big and act from 2009’s $58.6 billion. Over theBut as the Twitter example shows, bigger and all without having to next couple of years that figurethat advantage didn’t last long. raise capital. Computing becomes will almost double. Europe currentlyThe rise of the Internet (especially like electricity – you use the power represents 26% of spending onthe high-speed version) took and applications and pay for them Cloud Services, and that shouldeveryone by surprise. Suddenly, you without the need for hardware or grow to 29% in 2012.3didn’t really need hefty computers arcane and expensive licencesitting on each desk with servers in agreements. You don’t have an IT Europe faces a dilemma. Its pan-the basement. All you had to do was department, or even an IT specialist European privacy and dataconnect with even more powerful on your payroll, and you don’t protection laws are, accordingcomputers and servers housed in need one. to firms like Microsoft, Googlespecially built and usually vast and Oracle, hindering the spreaddata centres run by providers who The vision of Cloud Computing has of Cloud Computing because rulesspecialised in that kind of business. been around for years. Back in the forbid data from being exchangedThe applications were out there 1990s Sun Microsystems came out across borders. Because ‘thetoo; you just picked one that suited with a slogan that claimed, ‘The cloud’ can deliver processingyour needs. And, of course, you Network is the Computer’ – and power anywhere – such as Indiacould also go to organisations like Larry Ellison, founder of Oracle, or Malaysia – then the storageAmazon, which had built enormous was often quoted as saying that or manipulation of data mightcapacity to cope with unpredictable PCs need not have such big hard- not actually happen within theonline demand but didn’t use it all. drives or complex software because, country where the client is based.4That meant they could offer that eventually, we’d do everyone online.spare capacity to entrepreneurs People thought he was just trying Efforts to relax those laws and freelike the ones who started Twitter. to undermine his rival, Bill Gates. up cloud services are continuing and liberalisation of some legalAll they had to do was pay for what But, as it’s turned out, both the restrictions is expected soon. Butthey used. They didn’t care where slogan and Ellison have been the potential for job and wealththe servers were based (some of proved right. The network is the creation is there. Frederick Etro,them are in the USA, some are computer. Carr says that we an associate professor of Economicseven in India and Malaysia) – all shouldn’t talk about the World at the University of Milan recentlythey cared about what the fact Wide Web but the World Wide produced a report that claimedthat – it worked! Computer. It’s one big machine European businesses of all shapes that offers power to everyone. and sizes would be able to cutSuddenly, computing was a utility All you have to do is connect. their capital spending on IT bythat delivered economies of scale very large amounts very quickly.to companies who hadn’t even The point is to do it in a smart way, He also pointed out that Cloudbothered to invest in their own and medium sized companies are Computing was the one thing thathardware (except for the odd PC best placed to do that. They can could break down barriers to entryand laptop). Another important have great ideas and spend the in a range of sectors, enablingsaving was on software licences. money they raise from capital small to medium sized businessesThey were a significant cost that markets on the idea rather than to compete on an equal footingoften got overlooked at the start on computer hardware or software with the big boys very easily. Heof a project, but always added up licences. They don’t have to predicted that economies with ato a surprise on the bottom line. employ specialists, or create an healthy SME sector, such as ItalyCloud computing is a big, big IT department. That makes better and Britain (which has 35,000threat to the easy-money that sense financially because firms of that size) will experienceused to be made on them. computing then becomes a mere growth by making good use of operational expense. cloud services.5 3 “Tech Firms Fight European Limits of Cloud Computing” New York Times 20th September 2010. 4 Ibid 5 “Cloud Computing: Time to Stop Sitting on Your Data’ op cit
  4. 4. You use the Cloud each and The one thing you don’t want to the product and then add anotherevery day do is to have to bring in IT experts seamlessly when you’re ready.Each morning you power up your (at great cost) and worry about That modularity delivers thePC, or your laptop, of your iPhone how all your systems – from email flexibility you need at the rightand BlackBerry and check to voice calls to online security price. You only pay for what yousomething on Google or look at and data storage – will work need, when you need it.your email using Gmail or Hotmail, together. You need a smartor you look at Facebook or send solution that brings all those The product offers five distinctout a Tweet: you’re using the cloud. things together and then enables modules that can work separatelyYou’re already an expert in Cloud you to work confident that your as well as together. They are: VoiceComputing. That’s it. No more connection will never fail you. over IP (simply, voice calls using theexplanation needed. Internet), ISDN voice, Email, Colt Smart Office Security, and PC Backup. ThoseAll you need to know is that the Colt has developed Smart Office elements have been developedCloud will help you reduce costs to offer what they call ‘Big Business based on what small to mediumand make you more flexible. By Performance – Small Business sized businesses actually want, andoutsourcing your computer Flexibility’ which is, after all, what can be combined in a variety ofprocessing and software needs we’ve been talking about in this ways to achieve a bespoke service.you’re able to work at 100% whitepaper. It’s a flexible suite ofavailability and capacity, cope with products that have been designed And for those companies whichthe peaks and troughs of demand to operate on Colt’s fully scalable don’t need high levels offor whatever it is you’re offering business grade network. And customisation Colt has created acustomers, and never be afraid of that’s important: Colt only serves series of packs that deliver bundledmissing out on an upgrade. Because business, and it offers a pan- essential services that cover vitalyour cloud provider will be worrying European reach that gives you areas such as Access, Messaging,about upgrades and maintenance the power you need to reach out Security, and Backup. They, in turn,and availability you can get on to customers across the continent, come in four different sizes towith what you do best. It realty or other offices, or different sites reflect differing SME needs: there’sis that simple. that you own. It doesn’t matter if a Branch Office pack, Small Site, you have one, small office – the Large Site and Extra Large Site.Even governments are looking to fact that Colt’s network is onlythe cloud to help them cut spending used for business (they don’t serve The foundation of all those offeringsin these times of austerity. The domestic consumers) means that is, of course, Colt’s business-gradeBritish government is hoping to the power and security you need Internet. That delivers theslash over 20% of its IT spending by are always available. continuous connectivity andusing the cloud, and is even creating dedicated access you need. Just asits own cloud – called G Cloud – to Smart Office covers every aspect important is guaranteed bandwidth:deal with more sensitive information of 21st century business life: from many businesses have to vie forand services. powerful Internet connectivity to bandwidth with other commercial email, from security of all your data organisations and the public if theySo, how do you make the most of and PC backup through to making rely on the public Internet. Coltthe cloud? Because your access to all your phone calls (to landlines, bypasses that contendedthe cloud is via the Internet then mobiles and computer based bandwidth with its own whollyit’s pretty obvious that your systems) using Voice over IP owned and managed network. Coltconnection to the web is what really or traditional Voice Interfaces. can manage your router or you cancounts. That means you have to do it, and Colt always delivers awork with a provider who can offer Colt works in many different symmetrical service which meanssecure and robust connectivity so European countries and so that you upload data at the samethat you always have access to the understands a very simple fact: fast speed with which you canservices that are working for you no two companies are the same. download it.out in the cloud. Smart Office has been designed to reflect that truth: it’s totally modular and scalable. You can start out using one element of
  5. 5. Conclusion: The Smart Cloudis hereCloud Computing isn’t complicated;there’s no technical mystery thatonly the experts can understand.It’s a very simple concept: you canmake the most of immenseprocessing power through yourinternet connection. You cancompete with much largerorganisations because you haveaccess to the power and softwareyou need in the same way as youaccess electricity and otherutilities. Computing is now a utility.All you have to do is have thegreat ideas and deliver the bestcustomer service and you can winno matter how big or small youhappen to be.It’s the smart cloud. It’s here. Andyou can make the most of it byusing Colt Smart Office which hasbeen designed specifically yougive you access to a whole newworld of possibilities. About Colt Colt is Europe’s information delivery platform, enabling its customers to share, process and store their vital business information. Colt provides major organisations, midsize businesses and wholesale customers with a powerful resource that combines network and IT infrastructure with expertise in IT managed services, networking and communication solutions. Colt operates a 13-country, 25,000km network that includes metropolitan area networks in 34 major European cities with direct fibre connections into 16,000 buildings and 19 Colt data centres. For more information about Colt services for midsize business please visit www.colt.net/business or email inbound@colt.net Colt Group S.A. is listed on the London Stock Exchange (COLT). Information about Colt and its services can be found at www.colt.net. © 2010 Colt Technology Services Group Limited. The Colt name and logos are trade marks. All rights reserved. E&OE.

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